Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aunt Jeanette

Aunt Jeanette was one of my Mother's older sisters.  She died last Friday at the age of 94.  The last several years she suffered from dementia.  Both my Mother (who died at the age of 86 in September 2010) and her other older sister Grace (who died at the age of 89 in January 2006) also suffered from dementia.

Jeanette Hickman Hadfield - circa 1935

My Aunt Jeanette was one of the most gentle, kind women I've ever known.  She and my Mother and their sister Grace were very close.  The last time they were all together was when I took my Mother (who was well then) to visit Aunt Jeanette at Simpson Meadows in 2005.  My cousin Jackie Tinder brought his mother Grace in town for the funeral of my Uncle George Reynolds, Aunt Jeanette's husband.

Aunt Jeanette and Uncle George Reynolds - 1939
Before we attended the funeral we all stopped (my cousin Jackie Tinder and his wife Arlene; my cousin Elaine Reynolds (Jeanette's daughter) by to visit Aunt Jeanette at Simpson Meadows in Downingtown.  I think Aunt Jeanette knew who we were.  I am glad I was able to arrange the visit.  I did not know this would be the last time we would all be together.

Three Hadfield sisters - my Mom Betty, Ruthie, and Jeanette 1938
I have very fond memories of my Aunt Jeanette.  When I was about ten years old my Mom sent me to live with Aunt Jeanette and Uncle George at their home in Westwood, Pennsylvania.  Oh how I remember that summer.  They lived near the Capitol Bakery.  Every day the smell of fresh baked bread wafted through the summertime air.

Aunt Jeanette and her son Bruce at the home where I spent one summer in the Fifties - 1956 this picture
I had my own bedroom. This was a treat for me because the apartment I lived in Downingtown I had to share a bed with my two younger brothers.  And you all know (if you are a regular reader of this blog) how I feel about sleeping with someone.

Aunt Jeanette was so kind to me.  I remember her trimming her rose bushes outside her house on those warm summer days.  I remember being treated as a special guest (I always have liked to be pampered).

Me, my cousins, my Mother (in pink) and my aunts at Simpson Meadows - 2005

It wasn't until many years later that I found out why I was "shipped out" that summer.  My Mother told me that she had a nervous breakdown taking care of me and my two younger brothers (apparently we were a handful at that age) and she needed bed rest.  She sent my two brothers to live with another aunt.  I got to live with Aunt Jeanette and Uncle George and their children Elaine and George, Jr.

Me, Aunt Jeanette and my Mom at Simpson Meadows - 2009
My Mom died a year later.  This was the last time we saw Aunt Jeanette

From those years in the early Fifties, I didn't see too much of Aunt Jeanette until the late 90's when I would take my Mother to visit her.  Other times I would see here was at the funeral of my grandfather, their father.  The times I did see her Aunt Jeanette was always the kind, sweet woman that I remembered from my youth.

Thus it was with some sadness that I received the news that she had passed away on Friday, August 10th.

Yet another piece of my life gone.  If there is a Heaven, then those "Hadfield Girls" (as my cousin Jackie used to call them because they were so close) are together now enjoying each other's company in Heaven the way they did on earth.

George L. Hadfield Family - 1923
Jeanette, Randall, George, Sr., George, Jr. , Ethel, Grace
(my Mother is in the picture, her mother is pregnant with her, hiding her pregnancy behind her oldest daughter Grace)

Rest in peace Aunt Jeanette.

My cousin Randy (Aunt Jeanette's son), Aunt Jeanette and me visiting her at Simpson Meadows - she kept getting us mixed up because we both had beards - that's why she's laughing


anne marie in philly said...

nice tribute to a beloved family member, dear. there is long life on your mother's side. may we both reach that magic 100!

slugmama said...

Sorry for your loss Ron. At least you can smile thinking about the sisters being together again.

Anonymous said...

Ron, So sorry for your loss. My Mom is still as young as ever at 84, but has lost six of her seven siblings. I can't imagine life without Mom! I miss all those Aunts and Uncles, so might understand how you feel. Enjoyed the pictures and tribute very much.

Cindy from Sonoma

Ron said...

Thank you Cindy. My Aunt Jeanette was one of those truly selfless persons who devoted her whole life to her family. She had a good, long life. She will be missed greatly. Make every day with your Mom count. Too soon they're gone. I still can't believe my Mom is gone. Next month it will be two years. Time goes so fast.

Ron said...

Thanks! Those Hadfield girls were something. They had some life growing up and were always close. I only wish I knew their mother, my grandmother, who died when my Mom wasn't quite two years old. My Mom was the baby of the family and she never knew her mother. Hopefully, they're all together now and she has finally met her mother.


Amanda said...

The nicest tribute is to write a post about all the loving people you knew and are now together "on the other side".

Ron said...


That is so easy for me to do and so enjoyable. I will do more of the in future blog postings. I have a lot of them. So many people that I have grown up with and lived my life are now gone. I feel like life is a game of musical chairs. So far, every time the music has stopped there has been a chair for me. So far.